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Bladder-cushioned Helmet Assembly - Patent 5219368

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I. Field of the InventionThe present invention relates to helmets. More particularly, the present invention relates to a helmet assembly designed for underwater diving but suitable for other uses where cushioning, broad protection, and easy removability are desired.II. Description of the Prior ArtUnderwater divers have long sought suitable diving headgear for protection from both underwater objects and from the cold itself. The conventional diver's hood does not provide much of the protection desired.Since the early days of underwater diving, one form of protection has been available for the diver's head. The twist-on cast iron, multi-portholed diver's helmet has become almost legendary. This helmet, together with iron boots and a dry suit,is still in use. However, this helmet is awkward and uncomfortable to wear based upon the sheer weight of the cast iron helmet.Clearly the cast iron helmet is valuable only in a limited number of circumstances.In an effort to overcome the problems of known provisions for headgear, several modifications of the basic helmet have been attempted.A relatively early helmet is disclosed in U.S. Pat. No. 3,534,408 issued on Oct. 20, 1970, to Fifield. This helmet has a sealable neck that attaches to a dry suit.A later attempt at providing headgear is set forth in U.S. Pat. No. 3,680,526 issued on Aug. 1, 1972, to Morgan. This patent discloses a face plate and helmet combination with the face plate being attached by a plurality of detachable straps. However, the patent to Morgan does not provide a good seal about the face because it does not adapt to the shape of the user's face. Slight movement of the jaw will break the seal.More recently, U.S. Pat. No. 3,943,571, issued to Boatman on Mar. 16, 1976, discloses a three-pieced protective helmet for underwater diving comprising an inner hood, a back portion, and a front plate hingedly attached to the back portion. Furthermore, the patent to Boatman discloses a helmet that req

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